J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (11): 1856-1873.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13162

Special Issue: Plant-biotic interaction

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Versatile effectors of phytopathogenic fungi target host immunity

Muhammad Tariqjaveed1,2†, Abdul Mateen1,2†, Shanzhi Wang1,2, Shanshan Qiu1,2, Xinhang Zheng1,2, Jie Zhang3, Vijai Bhadauria1 and Wenxian Sun1,2,4*   

  1. 1 Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2 The Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Pest Monitoring and Green Management, and Joint Laboratory for International Cooperation in Crop Molecular Breeding, Ministry of Education, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    3 Institute of Microbiology, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    4 Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun 130118, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Wenxian Sun (wxs@cau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2021-05-06 Accepted:2021-08-10 Online:2021-08-12 Published:2021-11-01

Abstract: Phytopathogenic fungi secrete a large arsenal of effector molecules, including proteinaceous effectors, small RNAs, phytohormones and derivatives thereof. The pathogenicity of fungal pathogens is primarily determined by these effectors that are secreted into host cells to undermine innate immunity, as well as to facilitate the acquisition of nutrients for their in planta growth and proliferation. After conventional and non-conventional secretion, fungal effectors are translocated into different subcellular compartments of the host cells to interfere with various biological processes. In extracellular spaces, apoplastic effectors cope with physical and chemical barriers to break the first line of plant defenses. Intracellular effectors target essential immune components on the plasma membrane, in the cytosol, including cytosolic organelles, and in the nucleus to suppress host immunity and reprogram host physiology, favoring pathogen colonization. In this review, we comprehensively summarize the recent advances in fungal effector biology, with a focus on the versatile virulence functions of fungal effectors in promoting pathogen infection and colonization. A perspective of future research on fungal effector biology is also discussed.

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